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Bag not loaded - serious issue if I don't get it

Bag not loaded - serious issue if I don't get it

Old Aug 6, 2022, 1:47 pm
  #1  
mtt
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Bag not loaded - serious issue if I don't get it

We arrived for our family BA holiday today to find that one of our bags hadn't been put on the plane. Apparently it will be delivered to us on the Monday flight. I have an AirTag in it and I can see it sitting in Terminal 5.

If it reaches us on Monday then it's annoying, but manageable. If it's longer than that then it becomes a serious problem as it contains medication and I therefore need to spend the next 2 days trying to get hold of it locally (which might not even be possible) or be repatriated to the UK.

I need to contact an actual human at BA who will make this their problem and assure me that (a) the bag is actually in their possession rather than just randomly lost and (b) it will definitely be on the Monday flight.

I called the BA Holidays "24 hour duty line" - which was predictably closed at 7:30pm. I've emailed [email protected] but I have low confidence that anyone where will consider this an issue that needs to get actually fixed. I'm a GCH - is there anyone else I could escalate this to?

(Don't tell me I shouldn't have put medication in the bag please)
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 1:58 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by mtt
We arrived for our family BA holiday today to find that one of our bags hadn't been put on the plane. Apparently it will be delivered to us on the Monday flight. I have an AirTag in it and I can see it sitting in Terminal 5.

If it reaches us on Monday then it's annoying, but manageable. If it's longer than that then it becomes a serious problem as it contains medication and I therefore need to spend the next 2 days trying to get hold of it locally (which might not even be possible) or be repatriated to the UK.

I need to contact an actual human at BA who will make this their problem and assure me that (a) the bag is actually in their possession rather than just randomly lost and (b) it will definitely be on the Monday flight.

I called the BA Holidays "24 hour duty line" - which was predictably closed at 7:30pm. I've emailed [email protected] but I have low confidence that anyone where will consider this an issue that needs to get actually fixed. I'm a GCH - is there anyone else I could escalate this to?

(Don't tell me I shouldn't have put medication in the bag please)
Can the medication be obtained from a chemist in the country that you are in?

If not is it possible to obtain this from a Dr or hospital where you are?
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:00 pm
  #3  
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You really cannot rely on the bags turning up on Monday. And from all my years on FT I cannot recall a single example where intervention by passenger or staff would speed up delivery. It's like it is in the mail - it will be batch processed in due course. I see no point in trying to lobby for some sort of expedited service, it's just not feasible. There is a high chance that it will come through on Monday, 3 or 4 days is a fairly typical turn on delayed baggage. So you will need to think about approaching a chemist / pharmacy in where-ever it is you are in to get a replacement. Now if you have travel insurance with health assistance they may well have a helpdesk with clinicians able to do things like prescriptions or have local contacts who can help. I can't think of any major prescription items that is not widely available globally these days. Indeed if you are prescribed drugs from the NHS then almost certainly it will be on the European list, to give one example, and the UK's prescription rules are tighter than almost anywhere else, Australia is the only notable exception. So I think you probably would be able to get your medicine elsewhere. So many NHS drugs are freely available in overseas pharmacies. But at this point I'd hope you have Europ Assistance or similar.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:16 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by mtt
We arrived for our family BA holiday today to find that one of our bags hadn't been put on the plane. Apparently it will be delivered to us on the Monday flight. I have an AirTag in it and I can see it sitting in Terminal 5.

If it reaches us on Monday then it's annoying, but manageable. If it's longer than that then it becomes a serious problem as it contains medication and I therefore need to spend the next 2 days trying to get hold of it locally (which might not even be possible) or be repatriated to the UK.

I need to contact an actual human at BA who will make this their problem and assure me that (a) the bag is actually in their possession rather than just randomly lost and (b) it will definitely be on the Monday flight.

I called the BA Holidays "24 hour duty line" - which was predictably closed at 7:30pm. I've emailed [email protected] but I have low confidence that anyone where will consider this an issue that needs to get actually fixed. I'm a GCH - is there anyone else I could escalate this to?

(Don't tell me I shouldn't have put medication in the bag please)
Well you should take your responsibility. This is on you.
Contact your travel health insurance and see if they can fax/email a prescription for you to print or point to a local contact that can get you a prescription. Make a plan B to get back to the UK in due time if your bag does not come in time and you can not get your medication locally. There is no way a human contact can speed this up just for you.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:20 pm
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You didn't say where you are and how far from the airport you are. Additionally, you didn't say whether you asked BA to deliver the bag to you or if you'll pick it up at the airport.

If you're staying in some Greek island served every other day, then I'm afraid you're up the creek with no paddle (UTCWNP for short). If you're sitting in a resort 3 hours from the airport and you asked for local delivery, then again you're UTCWNP.

As for calling BA to expedite it... it's not gonna work. Sorry. And if you asked for it to be delivered via a courier, then there's a strong possibility it won't get there by Monday. Start looking around for an alternative sourcing of your meds is all I can say, and chalk it up to experience: going forward, if you need medication, it needs to travel in the cabin baggage.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:23 pm
  #6  
 
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YoUshouldn't have put medication in the bag.

Being a GCH isnt going to help.

If you want to be repatriated buy yourself a ticket.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:31 pm
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I think raising with your travel insurer is the best advice, and also checking if the UK has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the country you're in as that may make it easier to see a doctor if needed. Also I'm not sure if the UK is still included with Brexit but a prescription from one EU country is recognised as valid in all other EU countries.

Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
UK's prescription rules are tighter than almost anywhere else, Australia is the only notable exception. So I think you probably would be able to get your medicine elsewhere. So many NHS drugs are freely available in overseas pharmacies.
Not to dive too far off-topic, but wanted to give a counter example that drives me insane about the UK... Fexofenadine, an antihistamine for hayfever, freely (and cheaply) available in pharmacies and supermarkets in Australia, is a prescription only drug in the UK. Also another thing that surprised me about the UK - limits on pack sizes. It's common to see 100 packs of tablets like paracetamol and ibuprofen on shelves in Australia but not in the UK.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonAussie

Not to dive too far off-topic, but wanted to give a counter example that drives me insane about the UK... Fexofenadine, an antihistamine for hayfever, freely (and cheaply) available in pharmacies and supermarkets in Australia, is a prescription only drug in the UK. Also another thing that surprised me about the UK - limits on pack sizes. It's common to see 100 packs of tablets like paracetamol and ibuprofen on shelves in Australia but not in the UK.
Not wanting to detract from the main issue but slight correction. Fexofenadine is available without prescription. Ive bought several this summer as I needed something stronger for hay fever this year.

General word to all, as has been stated, the advice is and always has been, that any prescription medication should be carried with you in the cabin. There are so many things that can and so happen with hold baggage.

In addition to delayed bags, Ive seen situations where people have had items spoiled due to liquids spilling from another customers bag or even worse, food items that thawed with blood leaking onto several bags which had to be destroyed.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:46 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by LondonAussie
Not to dive too far off-topic, but wanted to give a counter example that drives me insane about the UK... Fexofenadine, an antihistamine for hayfever, freely (and cheaply) available in pharmacies and supermarkets in Australia, is a prescription only drug in the UK.
Only in certain packaging and sizes. So the child's dose is prescription only, generic 120mg doses for adults can be over the counter (but admittedly is rarely available), 180mg can be dispensed by pharmacists or via prescription. It's used more for hives than hayfever n the UK. The paracetamol restricitons is to do with the risk of self harm.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 3:00 pm
  #10  
mtt
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Originally Posted by fransknorge
This is on you.
With respect, I did my part of the bargain here. I paid for my ticket, turned up at the airport at the time requested and handed my bag to BA. The only party who didnt do what they were supposed to do here is BA, by failing to put my bag on the plane.

Obviously Ive learned an important lesson that trusting BA with anything you actually need at the other end is a good way to f up your holiday, but I dont think its too much to ask that they actually make some sort of effort to rectify their mistake.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by SpeedbirdLHR
Not wanting to detract from the main issue but slight correction. Fexofenadine is available without prescription. I’ve bought several this summer as I needed something stronger for hay fever this year.
Interesting, I'll have to push my pharmacy a bit harder or maybe try a few different ones - I got told to see a GP and get a prescription for it!

Edit: just found via Google it was changed in March 2022 in the UK from prescription only to pharmacy OTC.
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Last edited by LondonAussie; Aug 6, 2022 at 3:13 pm
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 3:02 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by mtt
We arrived for our family BA holiday today to find that one of our bags hadn't been put on the plane. Apparently it will be delivered to us on the Monday flight. I have an AirTag in it and I can see it sitting in Terminal 5.

If it reaches us on Monday then it's annoying, but manageable. If it's longer than that then it becomes a serious problem as it contains medication and I therefore need to spend the next 2 days trying to get hold of it locally (which might not even be possible) or be repatriated to the UK.

I need to contact an actual human at BA who will make this their problem and assure me that (a) the bag is actually in their possession rather than just randomly lost and (b) it will definitely be on the Monday flight.

I called the BA Holidays "24 hour duty line" - which was predictably closed at 7:30pm. I've emailed [email protected] but I have low confidence that anyone where will consider this an issue that needs to get actually fixed. I'm a GCH - is there anyone else I could escalate this to?

(Don't tell me I shouldn't have put medication in the bag please)
so sorry to hear it might be very stressful for you.

i dont know how serious it will be for you without the medication but it sounds like it is critical medication. I suggest you call your insurers now to find the nearest doctor in their network who can issue an emergency prescription that you can pick up on Monday.

I have an emergency pack which i take with me everywhere. This includes my health insurance details, my prescription list, my baseline ECG, consultants report and my relevant xrays so a foreign doctor / hospital know what to do with me should I turn up at their door unconscious. While this might seem overkill it provides Mrs firstlight with reassurance and I'd highly recommend it for your next trip.

I carry all this in a folder in my hand luggage... along with my various drugs...
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 3:03 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by mtt
(Don't tell me I shouldn't have put medication in the bag please)
Well......

All I can say is what cws already has: Your bag will turn up by Monday or it won't but contacting BA, BA holidays or anyone will make no difference to that. At this stage, your bag is part of a gigantic recovery system which has little to do with individualised human intervention, and where speed of recovery will largely depend on factors such as where it is now (was it stuck at your point of departure? Any given point of transit? Or has it actually gone to the wrong place?), why it was lost (was it just part of overall luggage delays or, for instance, has it lost its tag in the process), etc.

Incidentally, note that the very presence of medicine in your luggage might - in and of itself - slow down the recovery as it may attract customs or security concerns as a result especially if the medication is restricted and your prescription is not with the medication in the luggage.

In the first instance, if it were me, I would urgently contact my doctor, tell them about the situation and ask them what they recommend about the possibility of availing myself of the medicine locally. They will know or can find out if it is available where you are, what sort of prescription may be needed, and under what name it exists. They can also advise on whether there is something you can do to minimise risk if the medication does not reach you soon enough or if indeed it is a case of curtailing your trip to be safe, in which case travel insurance might or might not be of help. Priority no1 is your health, and only a doctor will help with that, not an airline or a frequent flyer forum.

And since the point of FT is that people start threads, but those exist and serve purpose beyond them and for many future readers who will do a search in the future, for everyone else reading this thread in the future except mtt:

Never ever put passport/id, cash or credit cards, phones/ipads/laptops, confidential documents, keys, jewelry, affectively or financially precious stuff,or indeed essential medicine in checked luggage!!!!!!!!!!*


*and if you want my advice, always keep a toothbrush/toothpaste, clean underwear, socks, and shirt/tshirt, phone/laptop chargers, and a pen or two in your hand luggage too...

**or if you want to "do what I do" rather than "do what I say", I actually do not check luggage at all whenever possible and travel with hand luggage only 95% of the time. it saves a hell of a lot of aggravation...

Last edited by orbitmic; Aug 7, 2022 at 1:19 pm
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 3:06 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by mtt
With respect, I did my part of the bargain here. I paid for my ticket, turned up at the airport at the time requested and handed my bag to BA. The only party who didn’t do what they were supposed to do here is BA, by failing to put my bag on the plane.

Obviously I’ve learned an important lesson that trusting BA with anything you actually need at the other end is a good way to f up your holiday, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask that they actually make some sort of effort to rectify their mistake.
Not exactly, this is what BA tells you to do on their website.
  • Please carry any medication, including liquid medicines, or medical supplies, such as syringes, in your hand baggage (if possible in the original packaging) with a prescription or supporting letter from your doctor that confirms this medication is prescribed to you to avoid delays at security or customs.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 3:11 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by mtt
Obviously Ive learned an important lesson that trusting BA with anything you actually need at the other end is a good way to f up your holiday, but I dont think its too much to ask that they actually make some sort of effort to rectify their mistake.
Yes it's the sort of thing one only does once in life. But BA and all airlines don't work on the basis of anything like medicines being part of the bargain and so won't use that factor to prioritise the issue. AIrlines have tightly kept their liability in this area down to about 1400 per passenger, and with no guarantees on delivery times other than a very non-specific pledge to get your bags to you as fast as possible and within 21 days. I came across someone who had a small box of imatinib in checked baggage, she had no idea that little box with 30 daily doses costs the NHS 2,000 and thus was way over BA's liability. Hence I'd suggest a focus on local pharmacies and/or travel insurance. The airtags are going to be useful too since you should get a few hours notice, and some airports may be willing to expedite a handover given your circumstances.
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